Category Archives: beef

THE MOST BADASS MEATZZA YOU’VE NEVER HAD! (But will again!)

It was a drizzly, blackened evening.

Damp leaves and soggy grass threatened to give way under my feet as I stumbled out of my last bus onto the grass, up the hill to a cat walk.

Going home.

My trusty backpack full of groceries.

I went to Whole Paycheck after work and barely broke $13:

6 organic avocados (on sale)
1 bag frozen broccoli (on sale)
1 bag frozen butternut squash (ditto)
1 large bunch of locally grown spinach

Upon arriving, I got to work in the kitchen. I seared two large pieces of beef shank (that’s osso bucco to you fine readers of mine), and threw a large guillotined head of cauliflower into the crock pot. The cauliflower was sharing the space with a gelatinous goo of pork scraps, onions, garlic, rosemary and other casualties of a long, drawn out pork butt crock pot war.

A local grocery store makes awesome, made-from-de-scratch soup in a jar. Their tomato soup is excellent, and this week, I bought a sweet potato and leek concoction. Delicious. This soup was poured over the cauliflower and just arriving beef shanks, browned and glistening in slick fat, marrow and blood. A final oddment of leftover chicken broth was added at the end, a dash of chopped red onion, a few bits of rosemary. Lid on. Low heat, 8 hours. Done.

Two packages of ground meat were glaring at me from the fridge.

Ah, crap. I’m so hungry. That meat must be made.

Roughly one and a half pounds each of grass-fed beef, and ground lamb.

I threw this mixture together with a random mix of vegetable drawer leftovers. Insignificant carrots, celery. Garlic. Onions. Fresh parsley. The last wave of potent garlicky chicken broth I’d made to stave off illness this past week.

A clever assortment of flavours and textures. As I was mixing, I thought:

Meatloaf.

Bacon on top.

In the oven. Like last week. Yeah. That’ll be tasty.

Ahhh…

No.

Burgers. Let’s make burgers. Yes. Good. Okay.

Brow furrows. Batman scowl.

No.

Then, a thought. A twinkle. A big grin.

OH MY GOD.

This is going to be the MOST BADASS MEATZZA EVER!

Ensuing happy dance.

I’ve done meatzza before. I love it. I actually haven’t made some in a while. Probably because I usually put red peppers on my meatzza, but my body is like, uh, no. We don’t like that. 

Edited March 27th, 2015. I was never ‘intolerant’ to red peppers or any of the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of foods that my IgG blood test said I was. Those tests are bogus.

Fine.

FINE!!!

Bacon fat ensnares taste buds, pleases the belly and brings joy wherever it is mixed in to. Crunchy, crumbled bacon bits top this meatzza that is lovingly draped with wilted spinach, and a merry mix of chopped grape tomatoes.

I don’t care if Jules thinks pigs are filthy animals. He’d eat this badass mother of a meatzza.

I have to watch me some Pulp Fiction soon.

Dig in.

Let joy ensue.

BADASS MEATZZA THAT YOU’VE NEVER HAD (BUT WILL AGAIN)

1.5 lbs ground grass fed beef
1.5 lbs ground lamb
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large garlic clove, smashed, chopped, obliterated
2 small stalks of celery, thinly sliced
2 – 3 small carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
A few splashes of homemade soup (Don’t have any? Don’t worry about it)
Small bunch of celery leaves, chopped
Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to a hot 375 degrees. Combine this meat and veg amalgam thoroughly. I mean, really. Get in there. Take off your jewelry, watch, and bracelet. Maybe put your hair up. Maybe put on some music. But get in there, dammit!

Make a ball.

Flatten said meat and veg ball onto a baking sheet. I have a typical round pizza one that I used this time, but you don’t have to. When you’re flattening your ball, make sure it’s nice and even. I even formed a bit of a crust around the edges. Toss that bad boy into the oven. Give it 15, 20 minutes tops.

You smell that?

That’s happy.

In the oven.

Take out your ‘crust’. There will be a pool of liquid and fat. Drain this carefully, but don’t toss it! Use it for soup, or for boiling some sweet potatoes in, or squash, cauliflower. That’s flavour, baby. Don’t waste it.

For shame.

Next, crank your oven to broil.

You will need:

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, chopped
2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
2 slices bacon

Chop up your bacon into bits and bites and fry it up until browned and crispy. Scoop out the bacon and set it aside. Don’t eat it. I know it’s tempting. Hell, I’d do it.

Use half the rendered bacon fat as your ‘sauce’. Spread it evenly over the base.

Toss your spinach into the remaining bacon fat on high. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until just wilted. Baby spinach would be perfect for this, but the adult kind is all I had.

Spread your wilted, bacon infused spinach over the base of your meatzza. Add your chopped tomatoes, and crumble that bacon on top. Salt and pepper.

This now goes into your smoking hot oven.

Now.

WATCH THIS!

Don’t step away for too long.

Use your nose! If it smells good. it’s DONE. The edges of your meatzza will be dark and crusty, the tips of tomatoes barely singed.

Slide this badass mother onto a cutting board. Wait a few minutes.

If you can.

I guess…

Cut it up.

Eat.

Love,
me

Tagged , , , , ,

Blackened, Rich and Beautiful Chicken Thighs!

Le sigh.

I’m so sorry kids. I’m really, really frakin’ sorry for not having posted in weeks. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. Food’s going down at this Primal-ites house…I’ve just been busy. Know what else?

We bought a HOUSE! I mean, we already have a house. But paying condo fees isn’t fun, and while we love the house, we have longed to move back to our old stomping grounds while we rented: Port Credit in gorgeous South Mississauga.

The Universe did us a solid: it found us a gorgeous, charming and very cute semi-detached home just west of Port Credit, in super-sexy, ultra-pretigious Lorne Park. Oh em gee. Everything came together beautifully. It was all just so easy. Our agent even grew up on the same street as wifey. Too many odd quirks and ‘coincidences’ popped up. I love when that stuff happens.

Now, we will be listing our town home for sale very soon. We have a wee bit of cleaning here and there to do, but our house is fabulous, and we have no concerns about it selling, and selling fast.

As I type this, I have a large chunk of beef roasting in the oven. I am starving. I’m super psyched to eat it with some squash I think I’ll boil up, mash with butter and herbs.

Also, my ass and hamstrings are killing me from the Crossfit WOD I did yesterday. It was insane. Walking, sitting, getting *up* from a sitting position: yeah, it HURTS!

SO MUCH PAIN!

My back is loving all of it. It feels one billion times better than it ever has, in that I am in NO PAIN whatsoever. Car accident? What car accident?

Let’s talk about food. I could write about a lot of things I’ve done over the last few weeks. I’ll space it out instead.

A few weeks back, wifey was battling some infection that comes and goes every year and attacks her vocal chords. Being the health nerd and food nut that I am, I prepared her an anti-inflammatory, immune-system boosting concoction that Mark Sisson of MDA calls Turmeric Tea.

This is a potent, rich, flavourful tea combining powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric and black pepper. In fact, the addition of black pepper is what actually gives the turmeric it’s inflammation-kicking qualities.

Combined with warm, intense, flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, the turmeric blends into a smokey, lingering warmth on your tongue. The coconut milk is rich and smooth; it’s a perfect carrier for all ingredients , its silkiness cooling down the heat of the spices.

Edited March 27th, 2015. NOPE NOPE NOPE. I made said turmeric tea a few months back when I was down with a cold. And you know what? It’s fucking disgusting. Just…NOPE.

I had some boneless, skinless chicken thighs to cook. I wanted some deep, rich, flavourful blackened chicken. I knew what would achieve this for longer cooking times: lard!

I made a large batch of this spice mix; I continuously seasoned the chicken while it cooked. I don’t recommend cooking chicken thighs on high. They like long, low heat. These took about 25 minutes.

By now you know I eyeball everything in the kitchen. Take these as serious approximations, and feel free to experiment with amounts:

I used about 1.5 tablespoons of cinnamon as the main ingredient, with 1 teaspoon, maybe 2, each remaining ingredient. Maybe a little less for the nutmeg. Try for .5 teaspoon.

Cinnamon
Chipotle
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Marjoram
Turmeric
Paprika

mmm…spicy!

Combine all ingredients and generously sprinkle over chicken thighs coated with some olive oil. Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat, and add about 1 tablespoon of lard. You know me: I love my wild boar lard. It’s perfect for dark, flavourful chicken. Season chicken with sea salt prior to adding to pan.

When your pan is hot, add your chicken. Now, don’t crowd it. Meat that needs to sear and brown doesn’t like to be crowded. It’ll be all like:

“DUDE GIMME SOME ROOM MANG. I CAN’T FUNCTION IN THIS TIGHT SPACE OKAY?!”

Or something like that. Your meat will actually start to steam in it’s own juices. We don’t want that.

Let the chicken darken and sear for about 2 – 3 minutes on one side. Flip it. Turn your heat down, and cover. Check on this periodically, and flip every so often. Keep adding seasoning to both sides. Cook until chicken is no longer pink.

I enjoyed this with butternut squash. You can eat it with whatever you like. But please, enjoy it 😉

Tagged , , , , , ,

Grilled Smoky, Spicy Flank Steak, with Bacony Bok Choy!

I know you all missed me. I missed you too. But don’t worry – today’s food will make up for the lack of posts in the last 5 days.

There’s an amazing butcher on Kipling and Dundas in Toronto (rather, Etobicoke, to be exact) that’s been around for a while called Medium Rare. They specialize in local, mostly grass-fed meats, and they have an outstanding selection of in-house sausage: all MSG/nitrate/sugar/gluten FREE. Linda and I have tried their venison and berry sausage (delish!), and their duck and cherry sausage (awesome!). We absolutely love their Great Polish Garlic Sausage. Go figure. A family of Italians make better Polish sausage than us Polaks. It is out of this world!

We recently bought a whole chicken from them, and roasted it with a lemon up it’s rear end, tons of fresh thyme and sage, garlic, and I slathered that bird in butter and lard. Oh. Em. GEEEEEEEEEEE.

This is where I also buy my wild boar lard. It’s about $8 for a container and lasts me a while.

No matter where you are in the GTA, I urge you to please check out Medium Rare. Their staff is impeccably friendly, their meat to die for, and you will thank me once you try their wild boar lard. Promise.

The weather has been stunning lately. Almost a little too warm for March. I’m not complaining. The Weather Network is warning us that winter isn’t over yet. I’m in denial. But today certainly feels like a blast from the Ol’ Bugger: it’s about -10 degrees celsius, and windy. But it’s so sunny!

I had a package of Great Polish Garlic Sausage, and a 2 lb piece of flank steak, both purchased from Medium Rare. Linda said she wanted to try that sausage on the bbq, as we’ve always oven-roasted it.

I threw on thick socks, and my house coat, and proceeded to head out into the chilly, sunny air and start up the bbq.

Speaking of our bbq, we are in need of a new one. It’s a hand-me-down, and it’s served us extremely well for over two years. But a knob broke off, and only one side lights up. Believe me, the thing is still usable. I just feel kind of ghetto.

Maybe after the wedding. Or if we snag a good deal on one before it gets too warm.

I’m rotating my veggies again, I need/like variety, and I’m always looking for different ways of eating the same veg in a new, special way.

Baby bok choy, for example. It’s easy to prepare, and has a mild flavour. But no matter what I do to it, it’s always kind of…boring.

Until today. When bacon met bok choy.

Sautéed in bacony goodness, onions, garlic, and of course, butter: the mildness of the bok choy contrasting with the bold flavours of bacon and onions is magical. You will lick your plate. I almost did.

The rub I created for the flank steak is simple to prepare, and can be used on anything. I love it on beef, but it would be awesome on eggs, in a burger, pork, salmon, you name it.

Smoky, Spicy Rub

Makes almost 1 cup.

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons chipotle powder

Combine all the above in a bowl. Set this aside.

1 2lb piece of flank steak
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Preheat your bbq to about 300 to 350 degrees. I can only use one burner, so one burner at 300 degrees gets pretty hot. I grilled the Great Polish Garlic Sausage first. Don’t they look awesome?

Now, on to the steak. Rub about two tablespoons of olive oil on both sides of the steak. Generously coat both sides with your Smoky and Spicy Rub. Really pat it into the meat. Some rub will fall off. This is ok. Sprinkle generously with sea salt. I was left with a few tablespoons of rub left. I’ll use it for something else later this week.

After the sausages were done, and the bbq was a little hotter than 300 degrees, I threw the steak on. Close the lid. Leave it for about 3 minutes, then give it a quarter turn on the grill. This will give you beautiful hash marks. You will look like a pro. Cover it again for about 2 – 3 minutes. Flip it. Leave it for another 3 minutes. Add a few globs of lard or butter on top, let it melt. Remove from heat onto a large baking sheet or cutting board. Your choice.

Bacony Bok Choy with Onions and Garlic

5 stalks of baby bok choy, separated into leaves, and washed thoroughly
1.5 tablespoons organic or grass-fed butter
2 slices good quality pastured bacon, snipped into pieces
1/4 of a white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Sea salt
Pinch red pepper flakes

Prepare your baby bok choy by cutting off the ends and separating the stalks. Leave the little guys deep in the middle alone; they look pretty. Rinse these well in a colander and set aside.

Heat a large frying pan to medium heat, add your butter and snipped up pieces of bacon. Let your bacon brown just slightly, and add your onions in. Stir, season with a little sea salt. Allow onions to bright a little. Add in your bok choy, red pepper flakes, and some extra sea salt. Toss, stir, coat. Put a lid on and leave it for about 3 minutes. Check on it: your leaves should be wilted, and stems should be turning a little translucent. Add in your garlic. Toss to coat. Take it off the heat, and leave it while you slice up your steak.

Plate this up and devour!

Tagged , , , ,